Sotitobire Miracle Centre, Akure, Ondo State, the church where a one-year-old boy, Eniola Kolawole, was declared missing on November 10, has been set ablaze by residents of the community.
News had spread on Wednesday morning that the child had been found but on getting to the church, the residents found out that the news was false.
An eyewitness, who pleaded anonymity, said people were baffled when police officers attached to B Division Station, Akure, arrived and began to beat residents and chase them away from the church.
“There was a rumour that the child was found at the altar of the church as early as 6:00am, I rushed to the church.
"By the time I got there, we began to ask questions then we discovered that it was a rumour but the rumour had filtered through the community.
“Residents of the community all trooped to the church.
"In a twinkle of an eye, armed policemen began attacking residents including journalists who also came to do their job.
“In retaliation, angry community members set the church ablaze.”
The police brutalised journalists covering the invasion of the church by the angry residents and also seized their gadgets.
A journalist, Eniola, attached to Breeze FM, Temitope Adedeji of Western Post and Ajuwon Tosin of SaharaReporters, were all attacked by the police.
SaharaReporters had reported that operatives of the Department of State Services last week arrested the General Overseer of the church, Babatunde Alfa.
It was gathered that some influential politicians and traditional rulers in the state had continued to lobby for the release of the pastor still in DSS custody.